No, said the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Chindove v Morrisons Supermarket.

It was relevant that the cause of the delay in resigning was due to sick leave.

Background

Mr Chindove had delayed his resignation by six weeks. The Tribunal initially said he had delayed too long and could not issue his claim, because he had effectively accepted the employer’s breach of contract.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal disagreed, and said that the test for acceptance is one of conduct, not time alone. An important element of this case was that Mr Chindove had been off sick during the six weeks before his resignation. Therefore, it would not infer that he had accepted the breach.

Implications for businesses

It will be important to examine the employee’s circumstances and conduct during the period between the alleged breach and the resignation, particularly if the employee is on sick leave.

The courts have suggested that a decision to resign may be more significant and take longer to reach for employees with families, low income or limited employment prospects, so these facts should be taken into account.

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